Tenuta Curezza (2008)

Happy Saturday! It was a beautiful sunny and cold day in Michigan. I started my day with a 7-mile run with my friends, Jeanie & Chris. It was 10-degrees but because the sun was shining, it didn’t seem too cold; the snow was sparkly and it was a fun run. The rest of the day was relaxing. . .lovely. I did a little crochet, read my novel, snoozed on the couch, walked Trigger.

For dinner, I made a double batch of meatballs, using one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground turkey. I froze half of them for another night. The other half has been simmering in a spicy tomato sauce for our dinner tonight.

I have been saving this bottle of wine because it was a gift to me from a very special person. Amy Watkins gave me this bottle of wine on the last day of our class in December. Amy is a highly-intelligent and dedicated teacher who just finished her Master’s degree. My class was her final one in the program. I so enjoyed reading Amy’s papers and her final research project. What a special young woman! I had Amy two times during her master’s program and she was pregnant both times! Now that is dedication!

I chose this Italian wine to go with our Italian dinner tonight. It is scrumptious. I can see why Amy liked it so much. The color is bright purple with an abundance of fruit flavors and some pepper on the nose. Full-bodied, I can taste cherry coke and blackberries on the palate. The finish is long with minerals and spice. This is luscious and such a treat for our Saturday evening.

Thank you, Amy Watkins! I love the wine and I loved having you as a student.

Tom: This is a really nice red wine from the Salento peninsula, the heel of Italy. It has a big dark-fruit taste and nice dry tannins. This is very good as a sipping wine and will be great with spaghetti. Italian wines (at least the modest ones we drink) sometimes seem stingy on fruit to me, but this one is big and rich.

We heard from Tony today: he’s now staying in Montañita, Ecuador, and learning to surf.

Red Knot Shiraz (2007)

We opened this Red Knot Shiraz 2007 as a big wine to go with the steak stir-fry Melody is making.

We got this bottle as a cool stocking stuffer from my folks at Christmas.

It has big dark fruit — typical of an Australian shiraz — but it also has a pleasant (and surprising) bitter taste (as opposed to the stereotypical sweetness of Australians).

Very nice, and a nice complement, I’m sure, to the steak stir-fry.

Falcon Ridge Syrah (2006)

We are in the midst of a winter storm advisory. We have several inches of new snow and it is still snowing. The advisory is in effect until early tomorrow morning.

But, it is Thursday night, which means that tomorrow is Friday which is a happy day because the next day is Saturday!!

I can’t remember where we purchased this Falcon Ridge Syrah 2006 but Tom chose it tonight because I am making a steak dinner (I am trying a recipe in which you sear the steak in hot oil [stovetop] and then put it in the oven on a low temperature. Hey, I am NOT sending Tom out to grill in this weather!) I am also baking potatoes and making a fresh salad. I have a recipe for a sauce to drizzle over the baked potatoes, which includes freshly squeezed lemon juice, sour cream, chives and vinegar. . .sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

This wine is okay but it isn’t one I would recommend, particularly. Even if it was a good deal (which it probably was) this won’t be on my “buy again” list. It is very drinkable and absolutely adequate, but it just isn’t great. First of all, the texture is rather thin. The taste is plummy but the aftertaste is predominantly mineral-ly. Tom used the word “leather” to describe the finish, which I thought was very descriptive, too. It’s a little of both — metal and leather. This is not my cup of tea, particularly. However, I will have no qualms about finishing my glass because it is not bad; it is just not my favorite.

Tom: This Falcon Ridge Syrah 2006 is pleasant and interesting: it’s light-bodied but tannic, dry, a nice dark-fruit taste with a bit of a leathery finish. I like it. It’s different than our usual cabs (the light-body-ness may be typical of syrahs; I just don’t know that much about syrahs). (The neighborhood kids are outside playing street football in the snow, I think they’re hoping for a snow day tomorrow…)

Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

It is mid-week and we are reading the newspaper after long days at our jobs. I got home late tonight so I am going to have leftovers (meatloaf) for dinner but I am going to make a fresh salad, too.

We have had this Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon before but it was a 2006, I believe. So, let’s see how the 2007 fares. . .First of all, the color is dark purple. It is thick — not thin — with a clove-y, fruity nose. The taste is uber fruity (I had to use that word [uber] just once)  and, in addition to the berry fruit, I detect a definite finish of dill. How interesting! It takes a while, but if you concentrate after sipping, the dill makes itself known. Tom seems to be enjoying this wine, too. He’s a pretty discriminating taster compared to me so I will enjoy reading his tasting notes.

Tom: This Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 is pleasant and sippable: medium-bodied and pleasantly tannic, with medium dark fruit and a slight vegetal taste. This will go nicely with meatloaf.

Opera Prima Tempranillo (2008)

I purchased this Opera Prima Tempranillo 2008 at Whole Foods on my way home from work tonight. I had stopped to pick up some chicken spicy italian sausage and whole wheat orzo for our dinner tonight. I am making a skillet dish with the sausage and onions, orzo, asparagus,  a diced shiitake mushroom and chicken broth. I thought a tempranillo would be the perfect choice for dinner.

This is a very good value. I only paid $4.99 (and picked up a Cabernet, also, for the same price). It’s interesting. Initially there wasn’t much of a nose, but 30 minutes after decanting, I detect raspberries on the nose. The taste is very fruity — not complex — but juicy and delicious. The finish is sufficiently long with a distinctive flavor. I would highly recommend this wine, especially if you want a full-flavor red at a very reasonable price.

Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

Well, it had to happen; we go back to work tomorrow after an extended vacation. We feel like we have been to Hawaii (although we have not) because we had such fun! Nonetheless, I am thankful that we both have jobs to return to and we both feel refreshed and invigorated from our time off.

So, tonight I am making baked chicken, brown rice, steamed fresh spinach and a salad. We are having this Washington State Cabernet, which Tom purchased at our local grocery store for $6 a bottle. I like it. It’s not a wine in which I am swooning over, but it is really good and there isn’t anything unpleasant about it. I would describe it as very fruity. The nose is woody — pine, actually  — while the palate is lush, juicy fruit. As my brother-in-law so aptly sums up: It drinks good.